Letter to My Dear Friend: Before You Judge My Parenting Skills, Save Those Words To Correct Yours
My friend was in town visiting and we had agreed to meet at a popular mall and I was beyond elated as it had been long overdue.
“Hey girl “ I screamed from a distance wearing a wide grin, hugging her so tightly as I had missed her and haven’t seen her in over three years though we speak regularly over the phone. “Hello” her 9 years old overly cute daughter greeted me while wearing a timid look and making half circles with her pretty sandals
‘My darling’ I greeted back as I hugged her tightly. She was very beautiful with the most perfect dimples and smile. We walked to a restaurant, pulled out seats and caught up on old times.
It was beautiful. In no time Miss Dimples relaxed into herself and I got to know her better. She was very intelligent and such a delight. I subconsciously watched her pass the chinaware to her mum with her left hand as it was a set meal and we had intentionally ordered different options so we could all mix and share, her mother sat to her left anyway so it was more convenient. Occasionally she would look at my son on his high chair and play peek-a-boo with him while he would laugh hysterically.
After Lunch, we took a walk round the mall window shopping and my friend spotted a nice pair of school shoes for her daughter. She thought they were cute and ran to them. They live in Sweden and they had come on holidays in London. She claimed they don’t get a lot of varieties over there as we do here.
“Pretty right?” She asked her daughter but I was the one who nodded in agreement. I guess old age got us liking the same things.
“Mum, don’t be silly, those are like boats, do you want my friends to laugh at me’” she replied innocently in her cute Swedish accent, giving her mother a disappointed look.
Her mum laughed it off while trying to talk her into buying them. Miss dimples tried to make eye contact with me hoping I would say something in her favour but I offered a smile and looked away.
“Stop it mummy” she replied again when her mum won’t stop talking about how cute the shoes were. Miss Dimples was upset that her mum was trying to ‘humiliate’ her (a situation that was very familiar, I mean so many of us have been there). She kissed her teeth and literally walked away from the both of us when her mum won’t stop talking. My friend reluctantly paid for the shoes claiming she would get her way around her.
We spoke a lot after that and made lots of jokes. It was a perfect day out. We even had dinner later.
Her daughter is perfect and yes, she was totally sweet. I would want to hang out with them again. But this is a friend that regularly picks on other people’s kids, indirectly judging their parenting skills. My dear friend had complained severally about how people’s kids were badly behaved. How she visited other friends and their kids casually said ‘hello’’ to her or offer her a glass of water without a tray and using their left hands.
She would complain bitterly of how people leave Nigeria and lose cultures and norms and even respect. She would judge every Yoruba parent whose child didn’t call her ‘AUNTY’. She is basically head tutor of parenting skills 101.
I am not one to condemn other people’s kids or parenting skills hence I often told her that no parent wants to raise a badly behaved child. It takes God’s Grace to raise a perfect child and I believe that slight errs should be lovingly corrected or overlooked.Read:Pregnancy and Childbirth: 10 Things They Forgot To Tell You
It is absolutely wrong to judge other people’s kids.
Salutation is not respect. All the ‘Aunty’, ‘big mummy’,’ big sister’ et al doesn’t count. Are you raising a God fearing child? When a child is God fearing they would be well behaved and before you judge the next woman’s child, save those words to correct yours.
Our cute Miss dimples greeted me ‘hello’ (not like I care), passed food to her mum with her left hand and told her mother not to be silly. Still, not at any point of these did her mother notice her miss perfect shared similarities with those other kids she condemned.
Oh I forgot, she angrily walked out on us at the shoe shop after hissing at her mother.
MY POINT: The more you judge other people, the more attention you draw to yourself hence making your imperfections stand out.
Did I call her attention to these? No, because I am not one to judge but I am expecting her call/text to show her disappointment/gratitude as she is an ardent reader of this blog.
I love you so much dear friend but you needed to know.
Written for Diaryofanaijagirl.ng by Mrs Ade